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#1058226 - 12/01/21 11:40 AM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: Makai]
Todd Offline
Dick Nipples

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 28142
Loc: Seattle, Washington USA
Salmon River within Olympic National Park...

https://www.nps.gov/olym/learn/news/fish...d-steelhead.htm

Fishing regulation changes in Olympic National Park to protect wild steelhead

November 30, 2021

Contact: Penny Wagner, 360-565-3005

Olympic National Park has conservation concerns for declining wild steelhead populations and is implementing in-season fishing regulation changes within park waters for the Queets, Salmon, and Quinault river systems. Of particular concern is the forecasted low return of Queets River wild steelhead. The 2021-22 forecast for Queets wild steelhead is expected to be well below the minimum escapement goal of 4,200 wild fish. Queets wild steelhead have failed to meet that escapement goal in each of the last five years. The Salmon River will be open from December 1 through December 31, 2021 and two hatchery steelhead may be retained. The 2021-22 forecast for wild steelhead in the Quinault River system is expected to be 1,756 wild steelhead, which would be among the lowest return on record. These regulation changes are being implemented in cooperation with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Fisheries within Olympic National Park are managed to provide a variety of fishing opportunities, allow for the harvest of hatchery steelhead, and protect wild steelhead populations. To better protect wild steelhead, Olympic National Park is implementing the following in-season changes:


Queets River:
Closed to recreational fishing beginning December 1, 2021.

Salmon River:
Closed to recreational fishing beginning January 1, 2022.

Quinault River (upper bridge downstream to park boundary):
Closed to recreational fishing beginning December 1, 2021.

For current fishing regulations and information, please visit the park website at nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/fishing.htm

Fish on...

Todd

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#1058227 - 12/01/21 12:13 PM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: Makai]
WDFW X 1 = 0 Offline
My Area code makes me cooler than you

Registered: 01/27/15
Posts: 4468
Too little
Too late

And they went to college for their smarts.

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#1058228 - 12/01/21 12:43 PM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: Makai]
Krijack Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1428
Loc: Tacoma
Funny how that works, looking at the maps, the Salmon runs through park land, then through a small section of forest land (state rules apply), then through the reservation, Then through some national Forest, then back through the reservation, back through some DNR land, and then back to the reservation. So the state shuts down their sections, but the tribes and Park leave theirs open. I am assuming the National forest falls under state regs, so that would be closed too. We are left with the question of who is using science and who is ignoring it? For an emergency rule, I would assume there has to be an emergency. Is the state willing to stand by the fact that there is an emergency, and if so, why are they not making moves to stop the other players in the system?

The state probably will say they shut it down to avoid confusion and provide consistency in the regs.

Looks like we will need to down load a mapping system if we decide to fish it.

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#1058231 - 12/01/21 02:46 PM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: Makai]
steelhead59 Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 01/09/07
Posts: 150
Loc: Olympia, WA
So someone clue me in, how do they count spawning redds in a glacial river like the Queets? Mainstem spawners. And do we actually get a good count by flying over or boating a river when it clears up in the spring.

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#1058232 - 12/01/21 04:01 PM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: steelhead59]
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 13306
Originally Posted By: steelhead59
So someone clue me in, how do they count spawning redds in a glacial river like the Queets? Mainstem spawners. And do we actually get a good count by flying over or boating a river when it clears up in the spring.


The Queets is often clear enough to count steelhead redds from March until the end of May, which covers most of the spawning season for wild steelhead. Once spring runoff kicks in, surveys are over for the season on the mainstem.

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#1058233 - 12/01/21 04:09 PM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: Makai]
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 13306
Not to cut WDFW for their abundant management miscues, I think it's important to consider that even if all steelhead fishing in WA state, treaty and non-treaty alike, had been entirely closed since 1980, the runsizes we are witnessing at present wouldn't be any larger, with very few exceptions.

Consider, for example, the Nisqually River, which has been closed to steelhead fishing since 1993, has not recovered. It showed some improvement for a couple seasons 5 to 7 years ago, but overall the trend has been in the tank. And the Skagit system, which has been very conservatively managed with respect to harvest since 1977, barely has returns large enough to support a well monitored and regulated catch-and-release season.

My point is, even if WDFW were a steelhead czar, which we all know they are not, and kept all rivers closed all the time, most all of the runs would be exactly what we are seeing. That being the case, what could WDFW have done differently?

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#1058234 - 12/01/21 07:19 PM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: Salmo g.]
dwatkins Offline
I'm Idaho!

Registered: 08/15/14
Posts: 3616
Originally Posted By: Salmo g.
Not to cut WDFW for their abundant management miscues, I think it's important to consider that even if all steelhead fishing in WA state, treaty and non-treaty alike, had been entirely closed since 1980, the runsizes we are witnessing at present wouldn't be any larger, with very few exceptions.

Consider, for example, the Nisqually River, which has been closed to steelhead fishing since 1993, has not recovered. It showed some improvement for a couple seasons 5 to 7 years ago, but overall the trend has been in the tank. And the Skagit system, which has been very conservatively managed with respect to harvest since 1977, barely has returns large enough to support a well monitored and regulated catch-and-release season.

My point is, even if WDFW were a steelhead czar, which we all know they are not, and kept all rivers closed all the time, most all of the runs would be exactly what we are seeing. That being the case, what could WDFW have done differently?


Looks like you’re cherry picking, what about the cedar River? Seems that their ‘trout’ are steelhead that have become resident for whatever reason. I’m not disagreeing with you but you should have been consistent and mentioned the puyallup and the nisqually being that they are both in the south sound and IMO way different then the skagit River that is mostly wild and gives salmonids a clearer path to the ocean.
_________________________
Mods = hall monitors

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#1058235 - 12/01/21 10:05 PM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: Makai]
skyrise Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 308
Loc: snohomish, wa
well you include the pilchuck, wind and one or two others. but do get the point. Pacific Ocean sucks for steelhead/salmon.
_________________________
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

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#1058236 - 12/02/21 01:00 AM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: Makai]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6566
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
The ocean certainly sucks, but there is a lot already known about steelhead in freshwater that we are ignoring.

Here's a few things that WDFW and BC F&W, plus some other researchers, have found out.

1. Increasing nutrients, whether by increased salmon escapements, fertilizers, or contributions from sewage treatment plants, results in more smolts, younger smolts and higher R/S. Which means that even in poor ocean years, you get more back. The fertilizer experiments in BC took a run with an R/S <1 and pushed it >1.

2.Setting increased minimum flows in late summer benefits salmon positively and steelhead negatively. It appears to tune the anadromous steelhead into residents.

3. Lowering the summer temperatures in streams favors residents at the expense of anadromous.

4. Most steelhead runs have a R/S less than 1.0 through first return as spawners. It is the repeat spawners that bring the R/S to >1.0.

As I said, all this is known, the data are there.

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#1058239 - 12/02/21 09:17 AM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: Makai]
Todd Offline
Dick Nipples

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 28142
Loc: Seattle, Washington USA
I don't think there is any way to argue other than that the main drivers of steelhead declines are completely outside of WDFW's hands...and the only thing they can control is recreational harvest, hatchery management, and season setting, most of which are very tightly bound by ESA requirements.

I have no doubt that the heavy restrictions on the coastal fisheries this year are in part a futile attempt to forestall an ESA listing there, too. All we are missing is a halfway decent petition for ESA protection, and the rest of Washington steelhead that aren't already listed will be.

Fish on...

Todd

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#1058240 - 12/02/21 09:34 AM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: Makai]
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 13306
dwatkins, I didn't mean to cherry pick. Nor did I intend to write a complete WA state steelhead assessment. Just illustrate with a couple obvious examples that harvest management by WDFW didn't put steelhead in the drastic condition they are in today. The Cedar is a perfect example where zero harvest hasn't resulted in increased adult steelhead abundance. The Cedar shows us that when a resident or adfluvial life history is more successful than an anadromous one, then resident and adfluvial become the dominant species type. And yes, the further south a river is located in PS, then the lower its SAR is, apparently due to higher marine mammal predation.

Todd, I was thinking the same thing. Wondering if Sam Wright is preparing a coastal steelhead ESA petition as we discuss this.

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#1058241 - 12/02/21 10:15 AM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: Salmo g.]
darth baiter Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 04/04/10
Posts: 132
Loc: United States
Regarding ESA listing for Washington coast steelhead. There are two Distinct Population Segments (DPS) for steelhead which is the ESA listing equivalent of ESUs for salmon. The Southwest Washington DPS covers Grays Harbor tribs south through the lower Columbia below the Cowlitz. The Olympic Peninsula DPS covers trib populations north of Grays Harbor. A petition for listing would cover the status of the populations as a group in each of these DPSs. Trends in abundance and habitat conditions for the group come into play on listing decisions. Individual populations within a group dont all have to be in the toilet for listing. The expectation of the group's future is what makes up for a listing.

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#1058247 - 12/02/21 05:02 PM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: Salmo g.]
32mm Offline
Alevin

Registered: 11/24/10
Posts: 12
Loc: Raymond
Originally Posted By: Salmo g.
dwatkins, I didn't mean to cherry pick. Nor did I intend to write a complete WA state steelhead assessment. Just illustrate with a couple obvious examples that harvest management by WDFW didn't put steelhead in the drastic condition they are in today. The Cedar is a perfect example where zero harvest hasn't resulted in increased adult steelhead abundance. The Cedar shows us that when a resident or adfluvial life history is more successful than an anadromous one, then resident and adfluvial become the dominant species type. And yes, the further south a river is located in PS, then the lower its SAR is, apparently due to higher marine mammal predation.

Todd, I was thinking the same thing. Wondering if Sam Wright is preparing a coastal steelhead ESA petition as we discuss this.


Wasn't Sam Wright the gentleman that filed the Puget Sound steelhead petition in 2006?

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#1058253 - 12/03/21 09:04 AM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: 32mm]
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 13306
Originally Posted By: 32mm
Originally Posted By: Salmo g.
dwatkins, I didn't mean to cherry pick. Nor did I intend to write a complete WA state steelhead assessment. Just illustrate with a couple obvious examples that harvest management by WDFW didn't put steelhead in the drastic condition they are in today. The Cedar is a perfect example where zero harvest hasn't resulted in increased adult steelhead abundance. The Cedar shows us that when a resident or adfluvial life history is more successful than an anadromous one, then resident and adfluvial become the dominant species type. And yes, the further south a river is located in PS, then the lower its SAR is, apparently due to higher marine mammal predation.

Todd, I was thinking the same thing. Wondering if Sam Wright is preparing a coastal steelhead ESA petition as we discuss this.


Wasn't Sam Wright the gentleman that filed the Puget Sound steelhead petition in 2006?


Yes. That's why I mentioned him.


Edited by Salmo g. (12/03/21 09:05 AM)

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#1058255 - 12/03/21 09:42 AM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: Salmo g.]
WDFW X 1 = 0 Offline
My Area code makes me cooler than you

Registered: 01/27/15
Posts: 4468
Originally Posted By: Salmo g.
Not to cut WDFW for their abundant management miscues, I think it's important to consider that even if all steelhead fishing in WA state, treaty and non-treaty alike, had been entirely closed since 1980, the runsizes we are witnessing at present wouldn't be any larger, with very few exceptions.

Consider, for example, the Nisqually River, which has been closed to steelhead fishing since 1993, has not recovered. It showed some improvement for a couple seasons 5 to 7 years ago, but overall the trend has been in the tank. And the Skagit system, which has been very conservatively managed with respect to harvest since 1977, barely has returns large enough to support a well monitored and regulated catch-and-release season.

My point is, even if WDFW were a steelhead czar, which we all know they are not, and kept all rivers closed all the time, most all of the runs would be exactly what we are seeing. That being the case, what could WDFW have done differently?


Plant fish!!
Then and now.

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#1058258 - 12/04/21 07:53 AM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: Makai]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6566
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
WDFW does control, at least half of, the salmon escapement levels. They do control the research they do, and publish, and salmonid ecosystem functioning and the advice given on, say, in stream flows. It's a complex world, but they do love to punt problems to "Marine issues".

Heck, we have known of close to 20 years (we being WDFW) the the survival of ocean-migrant rearing and older salmonids south of the Tacoma Narrows sucked big time. What have they done to figure it out?

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#1058265 - 12/04/21 06:03 PM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: WDFW X 1 = 0]
RUNnGUN Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 1184
Originally Posted By: WDFW X 1 = 0
Originally Posted By: Salmo g.
Not to cut WDFW for their abundant management miscues, I think it's important to consider that even if all steelhead fishing in WA state, treaty and non-treaty alike, had been entirely closed since 1980, the runsizes we are witnessing at present wouldn't be any larger, with very few exceptions.

Consider, for example, the Nisqually River, which has been closed to steelhead fishing since 1993, has not recovered. It showed some improvement for a couple seasons 5 to 7 years ago, but overall the trend has been in the tank. And the Skagit system, which has been very conservatively managed with respect to harvest since 1977, barely has returns large enough to support a well monitored and regulated catch-and-release season.

My point is, even if WDFW were a steelhead czar, which we all know they are not, and kept all rivers closed all the time, most all of the runs would be exactly what we are seeing. That being the case, what could WDFW have done differently?


Plant fish!!
Then and now.


I think it is time to either [Bleeeeep!] or get off the pot! With our license purchase revenue for Steelhead or whatever. If there is and should be a desire to have any recreational steelhead fishery. Designate a couple rivers in PS, the Col R. and Coast as steelhead hatchery factories for recreation. Plant the [Bleeeeep!] out of them instead of spreading thin numbers all around. Intensify summer plants to avoid inclement winter weather loss of opportunity.... better quality anyway. My 2 cents.
_________________________
“Smart people only believe half of what they hear. Smarter people know which half to believe”

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#1058266 - 12/04/21 06:24 PM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: Makai]
WDFW X 1 = 0 Offline
My Area code makes me cooler than you

Registered: 01/27/15
Posts: 4468
If fishing is outlawed only outlaws will fish.

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#1058267 - 12/04/21 06:50 PM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: Makai]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6566
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
It would be a good idea, in my mind, to designate specific streams with a hatchery fish emphasis. ESA will need to be changed. Current management may get us there with wild fish extirpation, but we should start now with a clear separation between wild fish watersheds and hatchery fish watersheds.

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#1058268 - 12/05/21 10:58 AM Re: Steelhead Regulations 21-22? [Re: Makai]
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 13306
Some rivers have been designated for wild steelhead recovery or sanctuaries. Other rivers have not. That list would be a good place to select from to create Cowlitz-like hatchery fish blood fests. However, IMO strong consideration should be given to the observation that even with massive plants of hatchery steelhead, recent returns have been dismal at best. I like to fish for steelhead as much as anyone I know, but at some point you have to ask yourself how much you're willing to spend raising hatchery steelhead to return just one adult to the river of your choice. Current SAR are so low that I think we are at that point.

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